Romanian president Klaus Iohannis is on a visit to Israel./ Magistrates protest against a possible elimination of special pensions.
Israel visit. During his visit to Israel, the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday met the
leader of the opposition Blue and White Alliance, Beny Ganz. On Tuesday, he had talks with his Israeli
counterpart Reuven Rivlin, whom he assured that Romania remains fully committed
to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, combating anti-Semitism and
preventing discrimination and any form of violence. On Thursday, the Romanian
president is attending the 5th world Holocaust remembrance forum and
the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Protests. Romanian magistrates' protests against a
possible elimination of special pensions are gaining momentum. Many courts
across the country, among which the Bucharest Tribunal and the Court of Appeal
on Wednesday announced that they would suspend activity in court rooms for an
unlimited period of time. They said they will deal only with criminal cases
that require preventive measures and with urgent civil cases involving minors
and the provisional suspension of enforcement measures. The Chamber of Deputies
will meet next week in an extraordinary session to debate a bill on the elimination
of the so-called special pensions which also benefit magistrates and which are
not based on the contribution principle. The Judicial Inspection Department
representatives claim that the bill on the elimination of special pensions "brutally"
infringes on the principles of judges' independence and immovability as well as
on articles from the Romanian Constitution and provisions of the European Court
of Human Rights.
Constitutional Court of Romania ruled on Wednesday that the appointment of
Teodor Melescanu as Senate speaker is unconstitutional. A complaint in this
respect had been filed last year by 33 senators. Melescanu said he would continue
to use the powers of this office until the Court's ruling and its justification
are published in the Official Gazette.
Coronavirus. The number of
pneumonia cases associated with a new type of coronavirus that appeared in
China has exceeded 440, while the death toll is 17 in the Chinese province
Hubei. So far, the virus has also been identified in Japan, Thailand, South
Korea and the United States. A number of countries have taken border measures
to contain the spread of the virus and World Health Organisation Committee met
in Geneva to analyse the situation. In Bucharest, the health minister Victor
Costache has asked experts to come up with a set of measures in case the virus
European funds. Prime minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday that
one of his cabinet's goals is to enhance flexibility with respect to European
funds, from 5 to 15% to be able to channel funds to priority areas from other
financing programmes. He explained that the sum allocated for transport
infrastructure is insufficient, given that the modernisation of its road and
rail infrastructure continues to be one of Romania's priorities. The prime
minister also said that the navigation conditions on the river Danube must also
be ensured and investments need to be made in airport infrastructure.
Romanian tennis player Sorana Cîrstea (world no. 74) lost on Wednesday to the
young American player Cori Gauff (world no. 67) in three sets, in the second
round of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the
year. Simona Halep is now the only Romanian player still in competition in the
women's singles and she will be facing the British player Harriet Dart on
Thursday in the second round. Also on Wednesday, the Romanian-Dutch pair Horia
Tecau and Jean-Julien Rojer qualified for the second round of the men's doubles
after defeating the British-Pakistani pair Dominic Inglot and Aisam-Ul-Haq
Qureshi in three sets. In the 3rd round, Tecau and Rojer will face
the all-Australian pair Max Purcell and Luke Saville.
Water polo. The Romanian men's water polo side on Wednesday lost to Germany
15:10 at the European Championships in Budapest, thus missing any chance of
qualifying for the pre-Olympic tournament in Rotterdam. Romania will face
Turkey next, in their final match, vying for the 11th place.